Blog Entry

Martz: 'We have to run the ball and we will'

Posted on: September 29, 2011 7:29 pm
Does Cutler have faith in his pass protection? 'I don't have a choice.' (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Worry not, Bears faithful. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz wants you to know that not only is he committed to the running game, he plans to make it work, too. That's good news considering Chicago could only muster 13 yards on the ground last Sunday against the Packers.

‘‘We have to [run the ball], and we will,’’ Martz said after practice Wednesday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. ‘‘That’s one thing we can do — we can run the football. We’ll get that right."

Martz most recently came under fire after he called pass plays on 52 of Chicago's 63 offensive snaps in a lopsided loss to the Saints. Quarterback Jay Cutler was sacked six times and spent the afternoon getting slapped around. When asked after the game if he could survive the season with weekly beatings like the one he endured in New Orleans, Cutler needed just three words to get the point across: "I don't know."

On Wednesday, Cutler was asked if he had confidence in Bears' pass-blocking schemes.

‘‘Yeah. I don’t have a choice,’’ he said. ‘‘Those are the guys we’ve got to go with, and we’ve got to get them ready and I’ve got to believe in them. So at the end of the day, they’re going to do the best possible job they can for me.’’

Which brings us back to Martz. Every season, players, fans and media inevitably question the pass-happy offensive football he favors. And following the Saints debacle two weeks ago, head coach Lovie Smith joined the chorus, admitting that "I know the balance as far as running/pass wasn't there. All I can say is we'll get it better. You can't win football games with that type of balance."

But Smith hired Martz. Shouldn't he be the one to insure that Martz isn't getting their best player maimed? Well, it's complicated. But's Michael David Smith broke down Smith and Martz's relationship during a recent visit to the Pick-6 Podcast.

"It's important to remember that Mike Martz was the guy who gave Lovie Smith his big break in St. Louis. Smith was not a very well known position coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Martz, as head coach of the Rams, liked what he saw of the Buccaneers secondary, offered Smith the defensive coordinator job.

"Lovie Smith has recently said that 'Mike Martz is the reason I am a head coach today.' So because of that, Martz now has a boss who respects him and admires him, and is going to give him a lot of leeway."

And unless something changes, that's bad news for Cutler. Upside: Chicago goes three-and-out on 41 percent of their offensive possessions. While not particularly helpful in terms of scoring points, it does improve Cutler's odds of survival.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 2:39 am

Martz: 'We have to run the ball and we will'

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2012 1:20 am

Martz: 'We have to run the ball and we will'

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 25, 2011 3:40 am

Martz: 'We have to run the ball and we will'

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 6:43 pm

Martz: 'We have to run the ball and we will'

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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 12:04 pm
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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 23, 2011 8:30 am
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Since: Jun 28, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2011 8:38 am

Martz: 'We have to run the ball and we will'

Sure you will...

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: September 30, 2011 3:34 am

Martz: 'We have to run the ball and we will'

I never bought in to the Mike Martz is an offensive genius hype. As I see it he has failed everywhere with the exception of St Louis. There is no question that the Bears Offensive line is mediocre at best. For that reason a true Offensive Genius would have recognized that expecting your QB to hold the ball for 3.5 seconds to allow receivers to get open would be a disaster. Not to mention Chicago really does not have any bona fide Wide outs. The best weapon the bears have is Matt Forte and he should be given every opportunity to balance the ridiculous pass happy game plan that has led to so many unnecessary hits and sacks of Cutler. As I see it Lovie Smith was diplomatic publicly but has obviously laid down the law on the one dimensional  Martz offense. Mike Martz needs to understand that Jay Cutler is not nor will he ever be Kurt Warner. Johnny Knox is not nor will he ever be Tory Holt. Matt Forte is not Marshall Faulk either but he is the best  player on the Bears Offense by a wide margin. Hopefully Martz can admit to himself that his system is destined to be ineffective without a course correction. Based on his past history I think he is paying Lovie Smith lip service and I will believe it when I see it.

Since: Oct 29, 2010
Posted on: September 29, 2011 8:41 pm

Martz: 'We have to run the ball and we will'

Part of the reason the Bears don't run the ball is because they can't. Everyone criticizes the offensive line when the Cutler gets sacked 6 or 7 times a game and the receivers when they drop passes or don't get separation. These are all the reasons they can't run. The line does no better run blocking than pass blocking and the threat of a passing game isn't enough of a threat to have other teams use anything than man coverage.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: September 29, 2011 8:29 pm

Martz: 'We have to run the ball and we will'

if the goal of Martz was to get poor Jay hurt, he is doing a great job of it. 11 rushes last week.  You are not going to win that way.

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